Smart911: A National Database

Picture of Jessica Hoff

I always feel a sense of hesitance before tuning into the 6 o’clock news. Whether it is a mass shooting, a domestic abuse incident or a child gone missing, it’s never anything positive. I prefer to receive news from something a little more light such as Last Week Tonight With John Oliver or The Daily Show.

With that being said, I can’t be naïve to the dangers or emergencies that occur.

Back in September, I filled out a Smart911 Safety Profile which included my name, cell phone number, vehicle, address, allergies, my picture along with information on other members of my household and their cell phone numbers. I learned it was free to sign up for all citizens and could benefit me in an emergency even if my town did not have Smart911 implemented.

delaware-stampI reside in Massachusetts but every few months, I drive or fly to Delaware where my extended family lives. My aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins live in New Castle County, Delaware which is a Smart911 covered area. If I had an emergency while visiting relatives, I could dial 9-1-1 and my Smart911 Safety Profile would populate on the 9-1-1 call taking screen with all of my information. If I had poor service and the call dropped, the dispatcher could rebid my phone through my carrier (Sprint) to pull up my location since I accepted terms initially to be located in an emergency. It would provide a different level of accuracy which would be used to augment but not replace the information they already had. If I called 9-1-1 in a community where Smart911 was not covered, it would just be a standard 9-1-1 call.

My cousin just finished 8th grade and was given an iPhone as a graduation present. If she went missing, my aunt could dial 9-1-1 and the call taker would have the capability of querying her location because she previously signed up for Smart911.

Smart911 is vital to all communities which use the service today including: Washington D.C., Seattle, Atlanta, Denver, Long Island, Honolulu, Tulsa, Arkansas, Delaware and Michigan. Although, we cannot prevent emergencies, I take solace that the information I provided in my Safety Profile could be leveraged outside of my own small town at any Smart911 supported location nationwide.